1. Engage with the vendor’s product experts. This way you can ensure that what you’re wanting to do works best with their application. Success lies in making sure your and your CRM vendor both have one view of the organisation, one architectural thought. The product experts know best how their product works so it’s just a matter of you overlaying your requirements on to their product.
2. Don’t be scared of the cloud. Obviously, validate your cloud provider and check where they stand on data security and integrity, but more likely than not they have invested far more in security than you as a CIO has. Having said that, the cloud should only be one of the decision criteria in determining the appropriate CRM solution.
3. Check your networks. Be aware that if you select an in-cloud CRM vendor then the application will affect your network traffic. You will have savings in the upfront infrastructure costs because you’re not having to put extra boxes in your data centre, but you are more than likely to have a higher cost of network connectivity.
4. Manage change management. You can implement a CRM system without change management, but it will be a far longer process if you don’t have some kind of a change management plan. Consider having your business unit leaders get in front of your staff both physically and online to explain why you are implementing CRM. Get your staff that work on your CRM pilots to evangelise to the rest of your staff about the real-life benefits of CRM.
5. Project manage. Commit to resources to project manage the development and implementation from beginning to end. Irrespective of whether you choose an in-cloud or in-house CRM solution, thorough project management and governance is essential.
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